What will Bush's legacy be?
November 16, 2005
I talked to a couple of rightwing conservatives today about George W. Bush. I asked them what will be the legacy of this president. They wanted to know what I thought about it. I replied that I was not sure although I thought that his having both Houses under Republican control was significant.

The first person ran through the last five years thinking out loud and saying that Bush has spent too much money...oh yeah, it will be that the terrorists only attacked the United States once. The other person was identified as both a Washington D.C. insider and a conservative reporter introduced to me as a conservative guru. He also agreed with the first person but added that Bush would change the judges not to make laws but rather to interpret them as the founders would have done.

That was the summation of response by these two rightwing conservatives. I asked, did that mean the Supreme Court judges prior to Bush taking office were screwed up. They both replied together that, oh yes, they were screwed up.

They started talking about something else. I was frozen in contemplation of what I just heard. First I realized that both concurred on what was Bush’s legacy, and that to these people it was an acceptable achievement.

I knew that these were rightwing conservatives and they weren’t going to be too critical, if critical at all. But, my God, this president had five years of complete control of the United State government, and is all that was summed up his legacy? That’s when I began to feel sorry for the moderates in the Republican Party thinking what could have been. What this president has wasted in resources and surplus will take many decades to regain. From a rightwing conservative prospective, I guess, not too much is expected of the president who still has three more years in office.

As commander and chief his reaction to the moment we were attacked on 9/11 is right in step with his leadership capacity to date. This man is like a child wanting to be a leader but not understanding its ramifications. In my opinion this situation is dangerous.

I now understand why on Veterans Day Bush attacked John Kerry, a decorated war veteran. During the Republican convention last year delegates disgraced all veterans by making fun of John Kerry, mocking him by wearing purple heart band-aids. Every American should know how many of their sons and daughters serving in Iraq have died since that Republican convention! I hope people realize that these Republicans disrespected every veteran who has fought and died for this country. This could be a legacy also.

The Supreme Court justices bare the brunt of putting Bush in office. And what is paradoxical is that Bush is so deficient that conservatives can't be sure of what the judges they will be getting actually stand for!

Commentary by Ira Jesse Hemingway

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